Adventures in Eating: Main Course Vegetable

A hundred years ago, the French gas­tronomer Brillat-Savarin wrote exten­sively on the experience of tasting . “It is no easy matter to determine the precise nature of the organ of taste. It is more complicated than would appear at first sight. Clearly, the tongue plays a large part in the mechanism of degustation; for, endowed as it is with a certain degree of muscular energy, it serves to crush, re­volve, compress, and swallow foodstuffs.

In addition, through the numerous ten­tacles which form its surface, it absorbs the sapid and soluble particles of the sub­stances with which it comes into contact. The sensation, still requires the coopera­tion of the cheeks, palate and the nasal channel.

As you taste your foods, press your finger against one side of your nose, then release. Experience the bouquet of what you are eating by this method. It is a rev­elation of our magnificent tasting mecha­nism. Try it on the recipe below.

Some folks have asked for a vegetarian meal. This is one of my favorites.


2 tbsp green olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 large onion, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced diagonally

1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed

2 green peppers, cut in 2 inch chunks

4 tomatoes, cut in eighths

1/4 cup white wine.

3 tbsp flour

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 8 oz can of tomato sauce

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tbsp capers, optional

The night before:

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy pan. Even one you can serve your dish from will do well. Sauté the garlic and onion, over low heat, until translu­cent. While it is slowly cooking, slice the zucchini, peel and cube the eggplant, wash, seed, and cut the green peppers in cubes. Sprinkle with flour, and mix well. When the onion is ready, mix all the vegetables together, but the tomatoes. Add wine and tomato sauce. Stir well, cover, and cook over low flame for I hour. Wash the tomatoes and cut into eighths. After the vegetables have cooked for an hour, add the tomatoes and stir well. Cook 15 minutes longer, then remove from heat, cool slightly, refrigerate. Add salt, pepper, and capers.

This is a wonderful dish, as you can even bake it before using at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. It lends itself for adding leftover chicken, ground meat, etc. before cooking the vegetables. A side dish of rice or bulghur pilaf is deliciously good. Very vegetarian. You may embel­lish the dish with grated cheese and add a few calories. I even like to add a 1/2 tsp of oregano and cayenne for a little spicier taste. Enjoy!

– Rosemarie

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